Friday, September 21, 2007

I Sit and Think by JRR Tolkien

I Sit and Think

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.
--JRR Tolkien

Well this is my 100th post! Hooray for me! I gave my blog page a bit of a makeover, and I thought I'd go back and post a few more poems from novels to bring us back to where we began.

I chose this one, though it's not one I have memorized or anything, because as I've been writing this blog, I've had a lot of time to sit and think. It takes between 30 and 60 minutes on an average day to find a poem, research the history or critical analysis, think of something worthwhile to say about it, put my thoughts in order on the computer, find an appropriate picture, proofread and spell check, publish the post, and email it out. I understand now why Steve said his TPMOTD's were taking up too much of his life.

It's also been interesting to really think about poetry, what it is that I like and dislike, and how to put those feelings into words. I've learned a lot, and it's helped me become more aware of my own thought processes.

Then there are the images in the poems themselves. When reading poetry out of a book, I'm tempted to read several poems quickly in order finish the book. This blog has helped me to realize that poetry is different than fiction. You're not reading it to reach the end of a story. Instead, poetry is best consumed slowly with plenty of time to think and absorb what's being presented. It's like the difference between climbing a mountain and walking around in a meadow. Reading fiction is like mountain climbing. You want to get to the peak or the story's climax. Reading poetry is more like wandering in a meadow. You have no place you're trying to get to, but each step along the way there are sights to be seen. The faster you move, the more you'll miss, but if you slow down and look closely, there are layers upon layers of life in the tall grass and wildflowers. Anyway, there are a lot of images and clever buts of wordplay in these poems that I've never stopped to notice before.

I hope you've enjoyed the first hundred poems, and here's to a hundred more!


  1. Way to go, Karen! It's been 100 already? Wow. I appreciate the time and effort you obviously put into these. It's nice to have a daily dose of poetry beyond the somewhat narrow focus of my poetry reading (i.e. just Robert Frost). Thanks for the blog!

  2. Thanks for the poems Karen! I was just working on my talk on reverence for next Sunday, and I think that the word revere could fit in as the feeling towards people and God who have done things for us that have changed our lives for good.

    Hope you're all well, and having a lovely Sabbath!